Hannah Barrett

Gallery Affiliations: Howard Yezerski Gallery

Region: Northeast

Since 2000 I have painted invented portraits based on collage. Copies of photos or in some cases, copies of paintings are cut apart and reassembled into figures of ambiguous gender. Fusing the features of both sexes creates a range of androgynous characters that may be straight, queer, hermaphroditic or just cross-dressing. My aim is to create portraiture that deviates from the conventional male or female, and to explore the resulting pictorial and conceptual possibilities.

My most recent work from 2006 depicts androgynous creatures based on 19th century photographs. I take the features of multiple, unrelated sources and combine them to create a new and unique character. Details of hair style, of dress and of facial expression animate the subjects. Although the tonal atmosphere and the ornate style of the 19th century sources has been faithfully imitated, the narrative surrounding these fictional portraits is left to the viewer’s imagination.